US on us

It's the talk of the world – US elections – but does the outcome really ease 'our' woes? This is what the Lankan youth had to say when Dinidu de Alwis queried

The US election is now finally in full swing, with both parties having wrapped up the much hyped up National Conventions. Hilary finally gave Obama the (not) needed endorsement, and McCain chose Sarah Palin (Trophy Vice?), Governor of Alaska. McCain is hoping Sarah Palin will bring in the female votes, and it seems to be working quite a bit.

The whole world is watching. Dedicated blogs, YouTube channels, CNN, Fox and the other major networks have been set up. Election Desks with dedicated reporters, and even the local papers' International (and other) segments are flooded with stories about the two candidates. In addition to these, sites like Who Would the World Elect (http://www.whowouldtheworldelect.com/), run online elections. Interestingly, in their vote count, Libertarian and dropped out Republican Party Member Dr. Ron Paul is leading, with a 200% edge over Obama.

Mirror Magazine spoke to some young people in Sri Lanka and asked them who they would vote for, if they had a US vote, and their reasons and opinions.

Natasha would vote for: Obama–Biden (Democrat)

"I feel he would be the preferred candidate to change the world as he has the vision to change the US. Why this is important is because every decision the US makes effects the rest of the world. And all the madness that surrounds us now, for some reason or the other has been due to what the US has done. This needs to change. We need to make the world a better place and we need to live as one. And I feel that this man Obama is the only candidate who can make such a change."

Deane would vote for: Barr–Root (Libertarian)

He says he would vote for the Libertarian candidates because "I agree with Obama on some things and with McCain on others. But I don't agree enough with either one of them to actually vote for them. At least I agree with Barr on most things." But interestingly, Deane goes onto say "Now pretending we are Americans is cute, but the fact is, we are not. Sure Obama knows how to work the teleprompter and give a great speech, and Sarah Palin is one hot governor but surely, those are not good enough reasons to root for anyone."

He explained his stance by saying, "Unfortunately 'talk' is all what most twenty-something Sri Lankan Obama supporters have considered. They might give all sorts of sophisticated policy-wise reasons for it now, but the fact is most decided to support Obama just by listening to him and not by examining his policies. Obama for example proposes to 'save American jobs', now I can understand why some Americans might support that, but why on earth would Sri Lankans want to save American jobs? I'm sure the American union bosses would find it rather cute. Protectionism of one country directly opposes opportunity of others. That's the great Obama plan."

"Like Rudy Gulliani said, "change" is not a destination and "hope" not a strategy, and I think Americans are waking up to empty cheesy rhetoric, and that's why Obama is going down in the polls and loosing the election. There is one good reason though Obama should win – he's black. If he loses, all the media here and in other countries will put it down to racism and would argue the fact that not even in America can a person from a minority win an election. That's not good for minority groups anywhere."

Kalu would vote for: McKinney–Clemente (Green Party)

And his reasons are simple. He says he is "pretty tired with morons with different names and selfish ideals", and he sees the Green Party changing the world by "bringing awareness of green ideals to American populace most of whom still pulls 10 napkins at McDonald's and uses 3."

Theena would vote for: Obama–Biden (Democrat)

"From my elementary grasp of American politics, I can see that essentially very little separates the three candidates in terms of domestic issues: What's being debated about to death – universal health care, the economy, sustainable energy – is muddled in syntax and political spin-doctoring. What is more important to us as outsiders is American foreign policy. It is here that candidates differ and it is this and this alone that we should be interested in for American foreign policy, like it or not, affects every one of us directly or indirectly.

Obama has shown that he has the ideal foreign policy framework to get the US the much needed credibility essential to be the leader in international affairs. He's also the ideal person for another reason – this leadership position that America now holds in foreign affairs will soon be lost to China in the short term (and India in the long term). What America needs is a leader who is prepared to acknowledge that, albeit implicitly, and go about getting the nation ready for the transition period (similar to Britain in the early part of the 20th century when its empire dwindled and lost its position of pre-eminence). Plus I am afraid, frightened, by the very prospect of McCain-Palin."

There you have it. The opinions of different young people in Sri Lanka about the US elections. Cast your vote now at Who Would the World Elect (http://www.whowouldtheworldelect.com/), let's see what happens.

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